A recent article posted on the Medscape website was written by liver specialist and medical director of the liver transplant unit of the University of Cinncinatti. William Balistreri, M.D. The article was entitled "Can high fructose corn syrup exacerbate liver disease?"
Dr Balistreri presents a number of concerns about the common practice of adding high fructose corn syrup to beverages and other highly processed foods. One concern discussed was that a person will not feel full or satisfied by the calories in the fructose. This will lead to more consumption, without satiety, and a spiral of increasing obesity.
The topic of liver damage due to high fructose corn syrup was the focus of the article.
Dr Balistreri makes the following points
* patients who drank the most fructose were more likely to have hepatic scarring and progress to cirrhosis.
(this liver damage is similar to what is seen in adult alcoholics. )
* unlike glucose, fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion, enhance leptin production or suppress hunger.
thus dietary fructose may contribute to increased energy intake and weight gain.
* consumption of fructose sweetened, but not glucose sweetened beverages increases fat mass, visceral adiposity, de novo lipogenesis and inflammation and it induces insulin resistance and postprandial hypertriglyceridemia , particularly in overweight individuals. ( high fructose corn syrup promotes obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome)
There is some natural fructose in fruits, but the fiber and bulk of the foods , in the context of a well balanced diet, will likely prevent excessive intake of the fructose sugar.
Apparently the snack food industry is trying to change the name high fructose corn syrup to just corn sugar,on product labelling, in order to manage the current bad press for their sweetener and confuse the consumers.
As concerned parents, do we want to boycott this dangerous food additive and maintain our chidren on a much more natural diet?
I appreciate any comments, pro or con.